Do you remember what the coach from your high school sports team said to motivate you?
Did it work?
I was a proud member of my high school tennis team, though I did not play as much as I wished. In order to find out who was the best on our tennis team, and then to get ranked in the “top six”, there were playoff matches between all the team members. Unfortunately, I was more compassionate than competitive and I could never seem to get my mind fully around the game. Instead I would often be thinking about how my opponent was feeling instead of how to beat her. If it makes you feel better, I always got the award at the end of the year for “most encouraging team member” or something sweet like that 🙂
Anyway, when I did get to play in matches, I would usually start of strongly. I really did enjoy the game and was fairly athletic, I just struggled with consistency. Usually after a few games I would begin to lose momentum and would feel my form slipping, and my focus following suit. My wise coach would see me flailing around without much control, sensing my oncoming panic and would gently but sternly say “Francie, GET CENTERED“, while patting his fist against his heart. I would then take a deep breath and think about the form, the focus and follow through we practiced and my game would return.
Somewhere mid-way through the match, I would begin to lose my focus and my form again, and once more I would look back through the holes of the fence to see my patient coach standing there patting his fist against his heart- I knew what he was saying without his uttering a word- Francie, GET CENTERED.
Although I no longer play tennis in a competitive setting (thank goodness, right?) I think of my coach’s advice regularly. It relates directly to my spiritual walk. There are many days when I begin to lose my focus and my “form”. I lose sight of the path I am supposed to be walking and I feel like I am flailing around. It is at those times that I think of those wise words from my dear coach- Francie, GET CENTERED.